Saracens bludgeon Worcester

Saracens put out their strongest team to beat lowly Worcester 44-20 on Saturday and secure a home semi-final in the English Premiership.

Coming off the back of a massive win over Clermont in the European Championship, and keeping an eye on the 24 May final against Toulon, they nonetheless gave the A team a run against an outclassed outift heading for the second-tier Championship.

Saracens ended insome disarray, with David Strettle and replacement scrumhalf Neil de Kock being sin-binned within two minutes of each other as the game ended; but three tries by Jackson Wray and two by Chris Ashton had long since ended the contest. They have already scord the greatest number of points in a regular season (85), and have registered 19 wins from 21 matches.

Northampton, who drew 19-19 with Bath on Friday night, could be overtaken for the second spot on the table by Leicester, who beat Sale 42-22. They are in third place, but face Saracens in the final match of the regular season on Saturday, while Saints take on Wasps.

Wasps ran seven tries past Newcastle to win 44-38 and secure seventh spot in the final Premiership standings and thus a shot at a place in Europe. Wasps will now face Stade Français in a two-leg play-off for the final berth in the European Rugby Champions Cup next season.

Harlequins remain in contention for a place in the semi-finals after fighting back from a 16-5 deficit at half-time to beat Exeter 30-29, with a bonus-point try, at Sandy Park.

Harlequins needed maximum points from their final two matches to take the final play-off place away from Bath, whom they host on Saturday in the final match of the regular season.


Bath 19 Northampton 19
Gloucester 35 London Irish 30
London Wasps 44 Newcastle 38
Saracens 44 Worcester 20
Sale 22 Leicester 42
Exeter 29 Harlequins 30

Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP Photo